Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson wants the courts’ help obtaining Tim Eyman’s business and financial records, claiming the anti-tax activist withheld documents subpoenaed in their investigation of alleged campaign-finance law violations.
“Tim Eyman and Citizen Solutions refuse to cooperate with my investigation. I will not accept that,” Ferguson said in a press release Thursday.
In November 2015, the Attorney General’s Office issued civil orders to Eyman; his political committees, which include Voters Want More Choices and Protect Your Right to Vote on Initiatives; his for-profit companies, Tim Eyman Watchdog for Taxpyers and Citizen Solutions, and its principals, Roy Ruffino and William Agazarm.
The order was for business and financial information, including banking and tax records, about Eyman’s initiative campaigns in Washington.
The respondents started turning over some documents in December, but over the following months “they produced a smattering of records, some of which were heavily censored (or ‘redacted.’)” Lawyers for the respondents said they would seek judicial protective orders for documents that were “privileged or subject to a privacy interest,” and they never filed requests for protective orders with the courts.
Noting their investigation “has been significantly hindered and essentially stalled by respondents’ refusal to provide the records,” the Attorney General’s petitions ask the Thurston and Snohomish County Superior Courts to issue orders for the respondents to produce the records, claims the AG's office.
In response to the Attorney General’s Office release, Tim Eyman’s lawyer Mark Lamb issued the following statement:
"The State has been investigating my clients for four years and has filed no charges.
"Instead, last year, the Attorney General demanded Mr. and Mrs. Eyman's personal tax returns. I promptly and respectfully declined to provide their returns to the State where they would be a public record but invited the Attorney General to my office to examine them instead. The Attorney General refused this proposal and instead has chosen to go to Superior Court. On this principle of personal privacy, I feel it necessary to litigate this matter. The AG has the right to review Mr. Eyman's tax returns but I do not believe his returns should be made public documents available to everyone."